The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 02, 1996, Image 1

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Today- Mostly sunny and
very cold. North wind 5 to
10 mph.
Tonight - Bitterly cold, low
around 15 below.
February 2, 1996
VOL. 95 NO. 97
Bill could let
police learn
mental record
By Erin Schulte
Staff Reporter
Lincoln Police Chief Tom Casady said that
without access to mental health records, he
could put handguns in the hands of potentially
dangerous people.
“I’m making guesses when people’s lives are
literally on the line,” he said.
-Casady testified in sup
i AnielQtiiM port of LB960 in the Nc*
icyibiaiure braska Legislature’s Judi
*96 <4 ciary Committee Thursday
la afternoon.
The bill, introduced by
Sen. Don Wesely of Lin
coln, would grant access to
confidential mental health
records to the Nebraska
State Patrol. Police officials
could call the patrol for in
lormation on a person applying ior a nanagun
Casady, who urged committee members to
send the bill to the floor for debate, said he had
received handgun applications from people who
had run-ins with the police because of mental
But because laws do not allow police access
to mental health records, Casady said he had
nothing to help him decide if the person was
mentally competent.
The bill also would grant immunity for people
who reported confidential mental health infor
mation to the patrol. Specifics would not be
released, only a “yes” or “no” to the question of
mental health treatment.
Sen. Wesely said the bill would allow police
departments to carry out the Brady bill, which
prohibits the sale of handguns to anyone who is
“mentally defective or had been committed to
any mental institution.”
Also heard Thursday in the Judiciary Com
mittee was LB943, introduced by Sen. Carol
Hudkins of Malcolm.
The bill allows inmates, parolees, probation
ers or inmates on work release to act as under
cover agents. It also allows evidence gathered
by inmates or people on probation to be entered
in court cases.
John Colbom, chief deputy Lancaster County
attorney, said the standing law impeded law
In one case, a 16-year-old female was sexu
ally abused and forced into prostitution. The
police could not help her because she was on
Sen. Ernie Chambers of Omaha said he saw
problems with the bill. He said “jail-house
snitches” were unreliable.
The committee took no action on either bill.
Tanna Kinnaman/DN
Interim Chancellor Joan Leitzel, right, checks Friday’s packed schedule with Beth Griffin, administrative assistant
to the chancellor. James Moeser, former provost ana vice president at the University of South Carolina, will take over
as UNL’s new chancellor-on-Monday.
Smooth transition
Chancellor change a cinch, Leitzel says
ByJulie Sobczyk
Senior Reporter
As Joan Leitzel reflects on her time as
UNL’s interim chancellor, she says it won’t -
be difficult for the university to change hands
next week.
In fact, she’ 11 do all she can to make James
Moeser comfortable as the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln’s new chancellor.
“I’ll be one of the people who help him
get orientated,” she said. “But it won’t be
long before he has his feet set and is on his
Moeser, who was provost and vice presi
dent at the University of South Carolina, will
begin his new duties Monday.
Leitzel, who took over last year after
then-chancellor Graham Spanier accepted a
position at Penn State University, will re
sume her post as UNL’s senior vice chancel
lor for academic affairs on Monday.
The university will adjust to Moeser’s
arrival just as it did when Spanier left, she
“These things are planned,” Leitzel said.
“There was no problem in continuity when
Spanier left, and there will be no problems
when Moeser begins.”
And her time as interim chancellor was
successful, Leitzel said.
“For the most part, it was rewarding,” she
said. “In a position like that, the job is to help
others organize and move ahead.”
One of her accomplishments last semes
ter, she said, was planning for UNL’s capital
campaign, which is a major fund-raising
event that begins in May.
“This event needs considerable planning
for what UNL’s priorities are,” Leitzel said.
Another priority was working with ad
ministrators at the University of Nebraska at
Omaha to expand the joint engineering pro
gram with UNL, she said.
The hiring of Mel vin Jones as UNL’s new
vice chancellor for business and finance was
another positive aspect to last semester, she
“I think we’ll all like working with him,”
Leitzel said.
And the future should look bright with
new administrators like Jones and Moeser,
she said.
“Each leader brings personal planning
and personal priorities we should meet,”
Leitzel said. “I know we can make the tran
sitions smoothly.”
Study examines Nebraska inmate rape
By Chad Lorenz
Senior Reporter
A man sitting in his cell in a
Nebraska correctional facility heard'
the words “give it up,” and then it
Two inmates entered the cell and
demanded sex, but the man refused.
The two began beating him, but he
refused again.
Only when the other inmates
threatened to kill him did he
He was forced to perform oral
sex on one while the other
sodomized him. Then they switched.
They threatened to kill him if he
ever told anyone.
And he is not alone.
A study of sexual coercion in
Nebraska prisons 'revealed the
frequency of inmate rape among
men — and graphic stories such as
the preceding account.
“The brutal assaults and all the
gang rapes were disturbing to read,”
said Cindy Struckman-Johnson, a
psychology professor at the Univer
sity of South Dakota in Vermillion.
In April 1994, Struckman
Johnson surveyed 1,793 inmates
from the Nebraska State Peniten
tiary, the Lincoln Correctional
Center, the Omaha Correctional
Center and the Women’s Center.
Of a sample of474 male inmates,
101 (22 percent) reported being
forced into sexual contact of some
kind. Three out of 42 women, about
1 percent* also reported sexual
Fifty-two percent of those (12
percent of the total sample) were
victims of anal or vaginal rape.
Nebraska, because of its demo
graphics, probably has fewer cases
of sexual assault than a more
populated, urban state, Struckman
Johnson said.*
“I’m sure the rates are much
higher in other places,” she said. “I
think you’ve got a greater number
and harder type of. inmate.”
The Causes
Struckman-Johnson said the
rapes in prison were sexually, not
violently, motivated.
“It’s a sexual release,” she said,
“It’s simply a way of having sex in
She said she discounted theories
that perpetrators sexually assault
inmates because of a psychological
need to dominate others.
“If it was a power thing, they’d
just be beating people up,” she said.
The perpetrators usually are not
homosexual, she said, but view
victims as the opposite sex.
“Some men become female-like
See RAPE on 6
€ 20 percent of respondents repor’oo |i.;. uv h ‘ l oci?
pressuted or farced info se\n il • ict dost heir >%ifl 22
percent for men anti 7 percent for ' nr i)
More than 76 percent of tarter- "’port 1 t • r o. rpefr Uo!c
used force tactics.
C IN percent of the target1' repot j, a? irisom •'tail had
participated in the tncttiem.
Aaron Steckelberg/DN